Ether is my favorite book in the Book of Mormon. I just love it. It is full of so many great jewels. And is basically the entire Book of Mormon condensed down to one book.
I don’t claim to be a scholar or a deep thinker. And I’m not great with words. But I do think about things and I love seeing types or symbols in things I read.
The story of the Jaredites begins when the languages are confounded at the Tower of Babel. Jared asks his brother to pray that they, and then their family and friends might not be confounded. The Lord agrees, and then Jared again sends his brother to pray about where the Lord will lead them.
The Lord promises them a land which is choice above all other lands. And so the Jaredites prepare for their journey and take off, with the Lord leading them along the way.
They end up in a land by the sea. They call the land Moriancumer, pitch their tents, and hang out for four years.
The seashore obviously wasn’t the end of their journey, but sometimes I wonder if they thought it was. They had already left everything, and sacrificed, and traveled a great distance. Then they come to the sea. Maybe it was a beautiful place. Maybe they thought they had made it. Maybe they didn’t know that the Lord had something even better for them.
The brother of Jared goes and prays, and after being chastened for not calling upon the Lord, he repents and is then told to get to work and build barges, which he and his people do.
They make these great ships- tight like a dish. But they are worried about air. How will they breathe while in the boat? The Lord tells him how to handle it and they make some holes in each barge.
Then the brother of Jared cries unto the Lord again, for they have nothing to light their vessels.
Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?
The Lord asks him what he wants him to do. And then says:
For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.
I love this so much.
A couple of thoughts about these verses (which are Ether 2:24-25). What if we look at the Jaredites journey to the seashore as our pre-earth life. We worked hard. We prepared.
The choice land, or land of promise, could be viewed as eternal life. Our ultimate goal and destination. Life with God and our families forever.
So that would make this life the great deep. The water we must cross. Full of mountain waves that dash upon us, and winds and floods. Trials, pains, fears, disappointments.
This is why these verses are so great…
Nevertheless I will bring you up again out of the depths.
The winds have gone forth out of my mouth.
I prepare you against these things.
God knows we will face hard times. What a comfort it is to know that he is in control. And he has prepared us to face these things.
We cannot cross the great deep without light. And he has provided it for us. Christ is our light. The gospel is our light. The scriptures, the temple. We have been given so much light to get us through.
Behold, O Lord, wilt thous suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?
Next time you find yourself asking that question, remember the answer.
He has provided us with the light. He is the light.